Black-owned businesses contribute to, and often create, the unique culture of our cities. Black History Month is a time where we honor the contributions and achievements of the Black community and their role in shaping our history, our foodstyles, and so much more.
In Baltimore, chefs David and Tonya Thomas’ influence runs deep, from the former Herb & Soul restaurant to Ida B’s Table to their newly launched H3irloom Food Group, a culinary concept that spans catering, events and sustainability.
To commemorate the end of Black History Month, Yelp Baltimore teamed up with the powerhouse duo for a lesson on the history of hot sauce in Black foodways – from its original medicinal use of the capsaicin from chili peppers – to some of the chefs’ favorite modern day kitchen applications.
In the hour-long event, they demonstrated how to make a harvest salad, braised chicken and cocktails using their specially-made-for-the-event hot sauce duo: the Sweat and Sosu. The Sweat is H3irloom’s take on the traditional American hot sauce, traced back to Louisiana in the mid 1800s, and the Sosu is a West-African inspired pepper sauce, reminiscent of their trip to Senegal.
Event attendees, from Baltimore to Montreal, watched as the chefs cooked and plated a full meal in under 30 minutes. After a deep dive explaining their inspiration behind the sauces and recipes, the chefs surprised the crowd with an announcement that the Sweat and Sosu duo were going to be available for sale, exclusively for Yelpers on the call – bringing the heat directly from their kitchen into homes.
“Three-time Chopped champion Chef David Thomas not only demonstrated an amazing cooking demo, but he multitasked, also relaying cooking stories that expanded our minds on the culture and history behind the food. It was such an intimate experience learning about the origins of hot sauce, the farm-to-table experience, and the homages to African history within H3irloom’s food style” – Kendoll C.
Thank you to The H3irloom Food Group chefs for sharing their expertise, culture and heritage with the Yelp community! Interested in bringing the heat to your own kitchen? Stay up-to-date with H3irloom by bookmarking their Yelp page and website.